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Adoption of ‘wise men’ programme to speed up financial reform Back  
The European Parliament has adopted the programme put forward by the committee of ‘wise men’ headed by former Belgian central banker Alexandre Lamfalussy. Known as the ‘Lamfalussy Report’, the report recommended that European regulators get greater powers to change legislation and should greatly increase the speed of regulatory harmonisation, a key move in creating a single European capital market. Commenting on the move, Frits Bolkestein, Internal Market Commissioner said it was ‘a tremendous breakthrough for the creation of an integrated European financial market.’
It is hoped that this move could double the speed of legislative change as Europe stays on track to achieve a single capital market by 2005, and becoming the world’s most competitive economy, a goal which was set in Lisbon two years ago by 2010. The Lamfalussy programme stipulates 42 different changes in four stages, and so far 25 measures have been passed.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs will also set up a panel of financial experts to advise it on the measures outlined in the Financial Services Action Plan, which includes the Lamfalussy report and the European pensions directive. The panel will be composed of independent experts with experience of having worked in financial markets and with backgrounds in European financial services law and regulation. Chria Randzio Plath, the chair of the committee comments, ‘The establishment of this financial services panel will provide MEPs with additional expertise based ona sound understanding of how markets work. Our aim is to identify which problems to address on behalf of consumers, investors and other market participants in order to ensure the integration of financial markets in Europe.’

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